If you go with the expectations of punch lines and suave dialogues that is characteristic of a Rajinikanth film, Endhiran will sorely disappoint you. Yes, I finally watched it, especially after I heard that both my siblings who live abroad watched it the first weekend after release. I asked dad and he agreed, so I finally had the chance to take him to a ‘multiplex’. So it was probably all the more of an experience for him!
All these years, up till Sivaji (the last of his that I watched), Rajinikanth’s films are sprinkled generously with his dialogues that include, “My way is a unique way”, “If I tell once, it’s like I’ve said it a 100 times”, “I will do what I say, I will also do what I don’t say”, and so on. And then there is his classic cigarette popping act.
Endhiran, unfortunately, offers none of this. To me it came off as a movie solely made to show off the use of animotrics or whatever that technology is called.
It’s worth a watch, no doubt, but it’s not the mass entertainer that the superstar’s films are generally known to be. Yes, for the kaka kada owner in Tirukoil, the movie will still be a big deal, that’s because of Rajinikanth and nothing else.
Like other Rajini movies, where one goes home genuinely satisfied and talking vehemently about the thalaivar’s new cheesy line, this movie doesn’t really give you much to take home.
The story is quite simple, scientist Professor Vaseegharan or Vasee invents a human android. It’s made to look and speak just like him, and is christened Chitti. The only problem with Chitti is that it is programmed to do whatever task it is told, with no thinking on its own, as a result of which several mishaps occur. This is also the reason why Vasee’s mentor Prof Bora refuses to accredit the invention. That’s when Vasee modifies the robot to start thinking and feeling and here’s where problems begin.
This new ‘thinking’ robot begins to develop feelings for his creator’s girlfriend Sana (played by Aishwarya Rai). Chitti eventually falls into wrong hands and turns bad, out to destroy his creator and win over Sana.
As much as I don’t regret spending 280 rupees on a ticket, Endhiran is still not the quintessential Rajini film. There are many reasons for this.
One, in any Rajinikanth film, the star’s entry is always celebrated, either with some thumping music, song or interesting sequence. Endhiran is very ‘plain’ in that sense. Rajini makes no such entry.
Two. There’s no breath-taking climax like in Padayappa where Rajini takes off his shirt and fights some goons. Instead, you witness the use of technology where a hundred or more Rajinis get into formations. The use of technology maybe impressive here, but it shows nothing of the star that Rajini is.
Three. Like I said before, there are no punch lines and hard-hitting dialogues. It’s only towards the end that Rajini in his Chitti avatar says how problems arise when feelings and emotions are evolved. It’s these kind of dialogues that Rajini is known for. Alas, that’s probably the only dialogue in the film that strikes home a message.
Four. The comedy in the movie is very sparse. Rajinikanth is known for his comedy as well, but in Endhiran he is all alone in this. The scene where the evil Chitti imitates a sheep was very simple, but very funny as well, going to show how much this 60-odd year old actor can do.
Five. The film may have been the most expensive ever in Asia, but the use of ‘Hollywood’ effects did nothing much for me. It looked expensive but didn’t really stand out.
What did stand out was in fact, as odd as this is going to sound, the chemistry between Rajinikanth and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. With at least a three decade age difference between them, the two looked absolutely good together. The song Electron Neutron is beautifully picturised and the duo look stunning together. (My dad says Ash was important for the film and that it would not have met with so much success if it were some other heroine!)
Aishwarya has nothing much to do in the movie, but nevertheless, she looks gorgeous. No Yash Raj film could probably showcase her so beautifully. Her clothes are lovely, she dances beautifully and compliments Rajinikanth. Full marks to the couple.
For me it was the evil Chitti who stood out. It brought out the Rajini that we are all familiar with (even if it was in a negative role).
So all in all, paisa vasool? Probably yeah. Typical Rajini film? Nope. The use of technology? Not impressive. Eye-candy Rajini and Ash? Totally!